Olympics Media Guidelines Claim It’s Harmful To Call Trans Athletes Biological Males

Olympics logo (Dave Kim for Unsplash)



The International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) “Portrayal Guidelines” has declared it “harmful” to reference transgender athletes as “biological male” or “biological female.”

The recently updated guidelines serve to direct Olympic-affiliated media and other outlets covering the upcoming games on how they should address certain identities. The guidelines also included a list of “problematic” terms, with “biological male” and “biological female” being chief among them.

“A person’s sex category is not assigned based on genetics alone, and aspects of a person’s biology can be altered when they pursue gender-affirming medical care,” the IOC guide said.

In a press release, the IOC said the guidelines were to “raise awareness about the differences in how sportswomen and women’s sport are portrayed in comparison to their male counterparts.” The guidelines also provided tips on breaking “gender-based preconceptions” and “stereotypes.”

“The guidelines provide practical checklists and advice to help ensure gender-equal and fair representation of all athletes across all forms of media and communication,” it said.

According to Fox News, the guidelines also featured “brief entries about ‘key barriers’ to equal portrayal in sports, like female athletes having a ‘lack of recognition’ as compared to male athletes when covered by outlets, and it provided guidance on how to write about women competing in a way that’s not sexist.”

In one example, it instructed that rather than write, “She’s the next Michael Phelps,” journalists should write, “She’s an extraordinary athlete.”

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